Products
Protocol Analyzers

SierraNet M328

The SierraNet M328 system provides users with traffic capture, data analysis, protocol verification and introduces error injection capabilities for 25/50/100Gbp/s Ethernet and legacy (1,2,4,8G) and current (16/32G) Fibre Channel LAN, SAN, NAS and other high-speed fabric applications. Available with eight SFP28 FlexPorts™ for maximum configuration and utility, the SierraNet M328 offers world-class protocol analysis capabilities with an easy to use, customizable hardware & software interface, large capture buffers, and the most advanced triggering and filtering capabilities in the industry.

Explore SierraNet M328 Explore SierraNet M328
SierraNet M328  The SierraNet M328 system provides users with traffic capture, data analysis, protocol verification and introduces error injection capabilities for 25/50/100Gbp/s Ethernet and Gen 6 (32/128G) Fibre Channel LAN, SAN, NAS and other high-speed fabric applications. Available with eight SFP28 FlexPorts™ for maximum configuration and utility, the SierraNet M328 offers world-class protocol analysis capabilities with an easy to use, customizable hardware & software interface, large capture buffers, and the most advanced triggering and filtering capabilities in the industry.
SierraNet M328Q  The SierraNet M328Q system provides users with traffic capture, data analysis, protocol verification and introduces error injection capabilities for 25/50/100Gbp/s Ethernet and Gen 6 (32G) Fibre Channel LAN, SAN, NAS and other high-speed fabric applications. Available with a pair of QSFP28 FlexPorts™ for native QSFP cable interconnection to the link or fabric under test, the SierraNet M328Q offers world-class protocol analysis capabilities with an easy to use, customizable hardware & software interface, large capture buffers, and the most advanced triggering and filtering capabilities in the industry.
SierraNet T328  SierraNet T328 supports analysis of up to 4 bi-directional links of 25Gb/s Ethernet or 32Gb/s Fibre Channel, and 2 bidirectional 50Gb/s Ethernet, and 1 bi-directional link of 100Gb/s Ethernet or 128Gb/s Fibre Channel.
SierraNet M408  SierraNet M408 supports analysis and error injection of up to four bi-directional links of 10Gbps Ethernet or 16G Fibre Channel and 1 bi-directional link of 40Gbps Ethernet.
SierraNet M168  SierraNet M168 supports analysis and error injection of up to four bi-directional links of 10Gbps Ethernet or 16G Fibre Channel

Fibre Channel provides a bi-directional, physical or logical point-to-point, low latency connection between two devices at a time.  Like other serial interfaces such as Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), in Fibre Channel data is transmitted over the physical medium in serial fashion as opposed to parallel methods, which are used in SCSI and ATA physical interfaces. Serial transmission enables much longer connection distances as compared to parallel transmission methods, because far fewer signal lines are required, thereby reducing noise created by multiple signal lines all switching at the same time (cross talk).

A primary use for Fibre Channel is in the transport of block oriented storage traffic in SAN (Storage Area Network) applications. There are also specialized upper layer Fibre Channel protocols that are used in Defense and Avionics applications, to transport video streams for heads-up displays, for example.

Fibre Channel is designed to work with either optical fiber physical medium or copper cables in many connector and cable type configurations.  Copper cables are relatively inexpensive, but they are useable only for shorter distances, in the range of 10 meters maximum. In general the higher the transmission speed, the shorter the distance that can be reliably supported by copper cable technology.  A variety of copper solutions are available, the most commonly used being copper SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) or more recently SFP+ copper cables. SFP and SFP+ optical cabling solutions are also available, supporting reliable transmission distances greater than 10 meters, up to about 10 kilometers.

Architecture

Fibre Channel is a layered protocol, and is modeled loosely on the OSI model for networks. In the OSI model, and in the case of Fibre Channel, each layer provides specific services and makes the results available to the next layer.  Figure 1 below compares the defined OSI layer to the defined Fibre Channel layers.

OSI ModelFibre Channel
7 - Application 
6 - Presentation 
5 - SessionFC-4 Protocol map
4 - TransportFC-3 Services
3 - NetworkFC-2 Framing
2 – Data LinkFC-1 Data Link
1 - PhysicalFC-0 Physical
Figure 1, OSI Model and Fibre Channel Network Layers

The layers in the table represent different functions and services that exist within the Fibre channel protocol definition. As with the other communication standards, protocol level analysis is often focused at the link layer (FC-2) and above.

Fibre Channel, like any network architecture, transports blocks of user or application related information called payloads. Before sending a payload over the physical link, additional Fibre Channel specific control bytes are added to both the start and the end of the payload data. The combination of the control bytes and the payload data is called a frame, which is the basic unit of information in Fibre Channel.  A minimum of 60 bytes of overhead data surround each frame for the purposes of maintaining minimum separation between frames, mark the start and end of a frame, and to check for transmission errors. Within a frame the actual user data being transported can vary from 0 to a maximum of 2112 bytes. Fibre Channel transfers data through switched or direct point-to-point connections which work by creating temporary connections between the source and destination devices.  These connections last only until the transfer is completed and can be temporarily preempted by higher priority transfer requests.

Connections are made on Fibre Channel systems through “interconnect components” such as switches, hubs, and bridges. The ability of Fibre Channel to use different interconnect devices makes it flexible and scalable depending on user needs. For small Fibre Channel networks, inexpensive hubs and loop-switches may be used for connecting devices in a topology called Fiber Channel Arbitrated Loop (FC- AL). As Fibre Channel networks get larger and network bandwidth demands increase, full matrix switching may be implemented. A fully switched Fibre Channel network is called a Fabric topology.

Fabric topology permits multiple alternative paths to be established between any two ports in the Fabric. Loop (FC-AL) topology, on the other hand, is like a string of Christmas tree lights where the path goes serially from one device to the next and finally back to the originating device.  In this type of topology if one device or the path between any two devices fails, the entire string of devices lose their connection.  Loop and Fabric topologies can be combined to provide both low cost connectivity and high performance.

Summary

Fibre Channel protocol is designed to support very low latency and high data transfer rates. The currently approved standard supporting up to 8.5Gb/s, is generally referred to as 8GFC. Server virtualization and storage virtualization are broad trends that are driving the need for higher bandwidth.  The need for high bandwidth in the network infrastructure is just now beginning to drive the replacement of previous product generations of 1, 2, and 4GFC by 8GFC.

Fibre Channel is a good choice for any environment with many servers needing access to centralized storage, computer data centers for example. Because of this, Fiber Channel enjoys over 80% market share as the network interface used in external storage systems such as SAN environments.

Key Features
  • 1U form-factor with rack mount kits
  • Eight SFP28 FlexPorts, supporting 10/25/40/50/100Gbps Ethernet and 1/2/4/8/16/32G Fibre Channel over optical or copper connections
  • Advanced, multi-state triggering & filtering
  • Comprehensive, multi-condition Error Injection and Traffic Jamming capabilities
  • Standard 64GB or 128G recording buffers
  • Dynamic memory allocation
  • Extensive Ethernet and Fibre Channel protocols supported, including FCoE, NVMoF, RoCE and iSCSI
  • Multiple trace view formats
  • Seamless WireShark integration
  • USB 3.0 & Gigabit Ethernet Host Interfaces for fast upload and easy management

The SierraNet 328 family offers the most cost effective, advanced and fully integrated Ethernet and Fibre Channel data capture and protocol verification systems available for developers and protocol test engineers. The M328 protocol analysis systems provide engineers with 100% recording of all Fibre Channel and Ethernet related traffic at full line rates on all ports and offers the addition of error injection and traffic corruption with our InFusion™ tools for advanced validation and verification testing.

Flexibility to Meet Any Debug Challenge

The SierraNet M328 hardware platform and graphical user interface provides the highest level of performance and flexibility available in the market.

The SierraNet M328 provides ultimate flexibility in analysis and verification of traditional or converged Ethernet and Fibre Channel products in a single platform and the flexibility to add protocol specific features, functionality, and speed support at the time of purchase or later by the addition of license keys. Each FlexPort pair can probe both Ethernet and Fibre Channel links of speeds up to 25Gbps for Ethernet and/or 32G FC on copper or optical cabling and eliminates the need for separate "single function" blades, pods, or adapters found in some competitive products providing a highly compact, extremely flexible, multi-function protocol analyzer. The pairs may be aggregated to support higher density links, up to 100Gbps Ethernet.

In addition to FlexPort technology, the SierraNet M328's sophisticated analysis and jamming software, the Net Protocol Suite, provides unmatched flexibility with customized data displays that easily identify and navigate to specific events of interest quickly. Decoding in the Net Protocol Suite's multiple trace views provide superior visibility for troubleshooting low level to application layer issues, decode per the supported specifications and their associated encoding schemes, and the zero-time search and filter capabilities easily find Ethernet and Fibre Channel events in a contextual and intuitive way. In a multi-protocol environment, Teledyne LeCroy's CrossSync™ can synchronize and correlate traces with our other leading protocol analysis tools, such as the PCI Express Gen3 Summit analyzers, to understand how traffic, stimulus, and/or errors propagate across bridges or adapters.

Versatile, Cost-effective Platform

The SierraNet M328 platform is Compact, Portable, and Light Weight. The SierraNet is currently the Smallest (1U) and lightest (9.5lbs) Fibre Channel and Ethernet protocol analyzer platform in the market, saving valuable real estate and rack space in customer labs and is the best portable solution for engineers on the move. SierraNet provides users the lowest cost of ownership per engineer, and the lack of maintenance or support fees for subsequent years of operation means strained budgets are not tapped just to keep up with evolving specifications and advancements.

Performance

The SierraNet M328 offers the fastest and most convenient access to the data that engineers need with either a USB3.0 or GE interface. As USB is Plug and Play, this is particularly useful when capturing large amounts of data is necessary, but a quick connection to the analyzer is required, such as at a customer site.